Should a Loved One be Driving? Ask the DMV Medical Review Unit

Should a Loved One be Driving? Ask the DMV Medical Review Unit


I often have spouses or children expressing concern about a loved one driving.  This stems from a real fear that as a person gets older, suffers from dementia, or is being treated for a medical condition, their reflexes and judgment may slow. While these conditions are difficult on their own, they can lead to tragedy if the person suffering from reduced abilities is behind the wheel of a car. They could damage property, or more importantly, injure or kill themselves or others.
 
What is a family to do?  In New Jersey a family member, physician, judge or police officer can request a Medical Review of the persons license and right to drive through the Medical Review Unit of the Motor Vehicle Commission (still the DMV in my mind).
 
This is a serious step as it could lead to a person's loss of freedom of movement.  It cannot be done anonymously - the reported driver will be advised of who sent the letter.  However, it allows family members a means to partner with experts in determining if it is safe for a loved one to be driving.  
 
To request a Medical Review you must contact the Medical Review Unit in writing and provide them with the following information:
 
If you see these signs and want to request a medical review
  • Write a letter to MVC (must come from a family member, physician, judge or police officer):
  • Provide as much of the driver's information as possible: name, date of birth, address, driver license number and medical condition(s)
  • Include your relationship to the driver
  • Report the signs of impairment and safety concerns you have observed (see chart above)
  • Anonymous reports cannot be considered. Upon request, drivers will be told who reported them
  • If MVC's Medical Review Unit determines that a suspension or restriction is necessary, they will contact the driver by mail
Read the New Jersey Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog, published by Deirdre R. Wheatley-Liss
 
Deirdre R. Wheatley-Liss is a shareholder of the Law Firm of Fein, Such, Kahn & Shepard, P.C., with offices in Parsippany and Toms River, New Jersey. She concentrates her practice in the areas of Elder Law, Estate Planning and Administration, Business Planning and Tax Law. Deirdre’s individual clients range from their 20’s to their 80’s and beyond, while her business clients range from start-ups with exciting new ideas to 100+ year old business ventures. Clients seek Deirdre’s advice and assistance with a variety of planning issues relating to identifying and meeting their personal, family and business goals, whether in a planning or crises situation.